22 Jun 2011

US marine transfer to Guam pushed back

11:36 am on 22 June 2011

The United States and Japan have agreed to delay the transfer of marines from Okinawa to Guam.

The US government indicated last year that the 2014 deadline for the relocation of about 8,000 marines and their approximately 9,000 dependents was unachievable.

The move is part of a broader 2006 accord to reorganise American troops in Japan, including the relocation of the marines' Futenma airbase on Okinawa.

In a joint statement the US Secretaries of State and Defense and Japan's Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defense noted that the completion of the Futenma Replacement Facility and the marine relocation won't meet the previously targeted date of 2014.

They confirmed their commitment to complete both projects at the earliest possible date after 2014 in order to avoid using the Futenma facility indefinitely.

A statement from Guam's congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo commends the adoption of what she describes as a more responsible timeline that will help local businesses better to prepare and minimise the burden on local infrastructure.